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West Virginia Considering Bill Allowing Prosecution Of Libraries For Obscene Books

via FOX
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

West Virginia legislators are considering a bill that would allow libraries to be prosecuted for carrying books deemed obscene.

The bill would remove exclusions for schools, public libraries, and museums regarding the display of obscene material to minors, even when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Supporters of the bill read excerpts from books they considered obscene during a public hearing.

“State Code defines obscene matter as anything an average person believes depicts or describes sexually explicit conduct, nudity, sex or certain bodily functions; or anything a reasonable person would find lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value,” the Parkersburg News and Sentinel wrote. “According to State Code 61-8A-2, any adult who knowingly and intentionally displays obscene matter to a minor could be charged with a felony, fined up to $25,000 and face up to five years in prison if convicted.”

The bill’s sponsor argued for protecting children from unlawful material, while opponents emphasized the importance of not banning books and protecting children from abusive content.

“I urge you to pass this bill. This is not about banning books. It’s about protecting our minor students from being abused. I call it mind rape or word pornography,” retired librarian Carol Miley said.

“We have a responsibility to protect our children; a God-given responsibility,” Minister Daniel Curry said. “I would ask what is the need for obscene matter in schools and libraries?”

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